YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A CARD CARRYING NATURIST TO ENJOY THE NUDIST LIFESTYLE
“I’ve never done this before”. “I’m somewhat out of my comfort zone”. Probably the two most frequent opening lines we hear when people make enquiries to the Irish Naturist Association.
What motivates people to get in touch with us? Curiosity, most certainly. You might have read an article in the newspapers about naked yoga on Dublin beaches; you might have listened to some enthusiastic naturism lover on the radio recently, or you may have been forwarded, perhaps in jest by a friend, one of our posts on social media.
It has whetted your appetite, but you don’t know what to expect. Naturism in Ireland? Surely that’s something that Irish people only practice abroad on sun kissed Mediterranean beaches? But… do people even do this in Ireland? And, more importantly, is it legal? Yes, it is, says the Irish Naturist Association on its website.
This being Ireland, you’re probably thinking about our national obsession – the weather. You can understand the appeal of stripping off when the mercury edges into the high twenties or thirties Centigrades. But that’s a rare event in this part of the world.
Those who have ‘braved’ the elements here may once have been equally circumspect, but now tend to have a different perspective. “I would never have pictured myself going naked anywhere in Ireland if the temperature was under 20ºC ten years ago”, says one of the event organisers of the association. “We tend to be so pre-conditioned by the inclement weather that you would never believe you could do this even on a sunny September day. Until you try it and realise just how refreshing it is.”
“Honestly, once you are either swimming or walking on the beach, you don’t feel uncomfortable. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s invigorating”, agrees another INA member.
Invigorating is a word that regularly crops up when people describe experiencing external temperatures, and not just in naturist circles. Many of those who swim in the sea year round will swear to both the physical and mental benefits. A recent study has found that swimming in cold water could help to protect the human brain from dementia. The benefits of saunas followed by a contrasting dip in a cold pool are also well documented.
Of course you can do all of these when wearing a swimsuit, but to fully appreciate the benefits and sensations of air and water on your body, the only way to experience them is naked. And it’s not that a swimsuit is going to provide any protection from the elements – in fact not having to strip out of a cold wet clammy garment while doing a ‘towel dance’ to get dressed is a side benefit that many naturists avow they will never go back to.
You might not be comfortable labelling yourself a naturist, at least initially. That’s perfectly ok. “You don’t need to call yourself a naturist or a nudist in order to participate, explains the Vice President of INA, L.M. “The Irish Naturist Association is an all-enveloping organisation that caters for all tastes ranging from the lifestyle lovers to the home nudists, the people who want to try skinny-dipping, the women who just want to avoid sun tan lines when sunbathing on the beach, and the sauna aficionados who are constantly frustrated by the lack of true naked sauna culture in this corner of Europe.”
So, if you’ve got this far and are still intrigued… well, you can keep reading further blog articles, you can have a look at the YouTube channel, you can subscribe to the newsletter or you can just drop a message below, our volunteers will be delighted to get back to you if so wished!